Guidelines for appointments to the Australian Human Rights Commission

Closed 22 Aug 2023

Opened 26 Jul 2023

Published responses

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In March 2022, the Global Alliance of National Human Rights Institutions (GANHRI) Sub-Committee on Accreditation (the sub-committee) deferred the re-accreditation of the Australian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) as an ‘A’ status National Human Rights Institution (NHRI) for 18 months on the basis that the selection and appointment process for statutory appointees did not fully comply with the United Nations General Assembly Principles relating to the Status of National Institutions (the Paris Principles). The sub-committee called for Australia to implement a clear, transparent, merit-based and participatory selection and appointment process, formalised in legislation, regulations or binding administrative guidelines.

In response, the government passed the Australian Human Rights Commission Legislation Amendment (Selection and Appointment) Act 2022 in November 2022. These amendments require all future AHRC appointments to be made by a merit-based and publicly advertised selection process.

To complement these legislative amendments and further address the sub-committee’s concerns, we have developed guidelines for appointments to the AHRC. These guidelines provide detailed guidance to ensure that appointments to the AHRC are merit-based and transparent. In addition, these guidelines seek to provide clear information to the AHRC, members of the public and prospective candidates about the appointment process.

The guidelines are adapted from the Australian Public Service Commission Merit and Transparency Guidelines, and are specific to appointments to the AHRC. The guidelines support the AHRC’s fulfillment of the requirements of the Sub-Committee’s General Observation 1.8 Selection and appointment of the decision making body of NHRIs.

The guidelines have been developed in consultation with the AHRC and the Australian Public Service Commission.

Who we want to hear from

We want to hear from a wide range of members of the public about the new guidelines and whether they make information about the appointments process transparent and accessible. In particular, we want to hear from those with an interest in the future selection of commissioners to the AHRC.


  • Government
  • Human rights